Some of the more astute Democrats on Capitol Hill recognize, and are saying out loud, what pundits and bloggers have been saying for weeks now: Super Congress failure would be a good thing.
Now, in sharp contrast to this summer, Democrats say they are in the driver’s seat. They note that Republicans are already vowing to torpedo the sequestration cuts to the Defense Department, something Democrats say they will not go along with.
Many Democrats would prefer the sequestration cuts over a deal that would make major reforms to entitlement programs.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who voted against the debt deal on Aug. 1, is openly rooting for the super-panel to fall short.
“I hope that they cannot reach an agreement,” Nadler told Capital New York. [...]
House Financial Services ranking member Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said, “Rather than a bad deal from the supercommittee, I would prefer a situation in which we had the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and sequestration and we could then work those two together — use revenue from letting the Bush tax cuts expire for the very wealthy as a way of moderating the blow of sequestration.” [...]
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, suggested recently that the panel’s failure would be preferable.
“We can maneuver those [automatic cuts] around, and quite frankly, that might be the better path to take,” Harkin said last month on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” program.
This could also suggest that, if by some awful miracle the Super Congress succeeds (which would pretty much only occur with a major Democratic capitulation), rank-and-file caucus members wouldn't go along with it. Whether they could prevent the simple majority required to pass whatever recommendation the committee came up with isn't clear, but since any agreement would probably have to include more revenue than the Republicans currently have on the table, chances are pretty good that they'd have a significant chunk of Republicans joining them.
But it's good to see that some prominent, influential Democrats recognize that they're in the drivers' seat. Now if they can just spending the weekend convincing their Super Congress colleagues of that ...